The Winnipeg Blue Bombers released 25 players and assigned 13 others to the practice roster to get down to a league-mandated 45-man roster.
The most notable name among the players released was kicker Marc Liegghio, who last year held down all three jobs as the Blue Bombers’ punter and placekicker while also handling kickoff duties.
But the 26-year-old Woodbridge, Ont., native who was Winnipeg’s fifth round pick of the 2020 Canadianm Football League Draft, also missed some crucial convert and field goal attempts throughout his two seasons in Blue and Gold — most notably in the 24-23 loss to the Toronto Argonauts in the 2022 Grey Cup game at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium.
Liegghio missed a convert following a Janarion Grant 102-yard punt return touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and then had a potential 47-yard game-winning field goal attempt blocked with just under a minute remaining on the clock.
The Blue Bombers also had an opportunity for a 10-0 start to the 2022 season in an eventual 20-17 overtime loss to the visiting Montreal Alouettes on Aug. 11 at IG Field.
Liegghio missed wide left on a 32-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the fourth quarter, and then hit the right upright from 34 yards out to prevent Winnipeg from extending the extra period.
For his career in the CFL, the former Western Ontario Mustang great was good on 37 of 47 field goal attempts (78.7 per cent) and also missed eight of 69 convert attempts (88.4 per cent).
The Blue Bombers quickly jumped at the chance to sign Sergio Castillo on May 4, just minutes after the veteran placekicker was released by the Edmonton Elks. Winnipeg also selected punters Jamieson Sheahan (Australia) and Karl Schmitz (Bermuda) in the 2023 global draft.
Barring any changes to the roster for Friday’s home and season opener versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, it would appear as though Sheahan will take care of the punting chores, while Schmitz is among those players added to the practice roster.